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Needed: Vocational Educational Alternative in Mexican Pueblo

Posted By: Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie on November 14, 2009
Last week one of my doctoral committee members stated that in Mexico there is a "mix-match" between the Mexican version of the western-style school system and the lives the children are leading in rural areas. That is an understatement! In the Central Mexico pueblo where I live and research, the children are in school copying page after page of text. Their hands are moving, but their minds are stagnant; they tell me that they normally cannot read what they are copying. They just spend hour after boring hour copying text. Filling in the blanks on worksheets is demanded by parents and administrators alike. What do these activities do to prepare them for employment? Nada…

After school they walk to a two-room concrete block house that they share with siblings, parents, the children of siblings and at least one grandparent. There are cows living in the front yards lying on their own manure, raw human sewage running down the street and into the public drinking water, goats grazing along the roadway or fields, dried up remains of this year's failed crop (too little rain) and burros moving homegrown cornstalks as feed for the hobbled or tied out horses. How does the activity inside the school room relate to the lifestyle in this predominately indigenous pueblo?

Some form of a sustainable vocational education program is needed here to save these children from so many non-productive hours in what should be a learning environment. Additionally, the need exists to tap their human potential and focus it into numerous sustainable and non-agricultural projects that will may improve the economic situations within the small native community.
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 Needed: Vocational Educational Alternative in Mexican Pueblo by Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie on November 14, 2009
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